By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja
A non-profit making organization, We Are All One Foundation, WAAOF, Wednesday, urged Nigerians to embrace obedience, love, peace, and tolerance as Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts across the world to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.
Speaking on the need to follow the action and exemplary life of Abraham and his son Ismail, the President and Founder, WAAOF, Musa Abdullahi Garba Gokaru, said Muslims and other Nigerians should understand that the way out of the present predicament they find themselves is to obey and support leaders at different levels and the Constitution of the country.
According to Gokaru, the act of Abraham to answer God (Allah) and obey his demand to take his son, Ismail for sacrifice to him, which Ismail never objected but said since it is Allah who has told you to use me as a sacrifice to him I will simply obey and be used for the sacrifice.
He said: “Abraham and Ismail never hesitated to do what Allah told them, and what does that mean? It means, obedience, secondly, respect; thirdly, love, and love comes with unity.
“So Abraham is the symbol of unity and love. Since Muslims have taken it as an act of worship, so every Muslim slaughter a ram, cow, or camel to symbolize that love, and it goes a long way to show that every Muslim should be a loving, and peaceful person who wants unity and prosperity of Nigeria. It is very important we obey our leaders as Ismail did to his father Abraham.
“I am calling on all Nigerians irrespective of our tribe or religion to obey our leaders because Abraham obeyed the call of God because obedience is better than sacrifice; let us obey, respect, pray for our leaders because nobody is perfect because we should not see our leaders as angels thinking that they will never make any mistake, they are human beings, and also are they are our brothers and sisters, friends, parents, mothers and fathers, and otherwise.
“So we should all pray for them, while we pray for them we should also obey them and respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The unity of Nigeria lies in our obedience. One thing we should understand is we should not look at the leaders including President, Governors, Chairmen, whether appointed or elected, we should look at their capacity and ability on what they can do and impact, and that calls on us to obey them whether they come from your tribe, region, religion.
“If they are going out of the mandate of their service call them back and remind them of their call to duty and what they are supposed to do.
“And let our leaders too fear God, and do what they are called to do, which is service to the nation.”
He also stressed that “So the significance of Eid-el-Adha is highly attached to the unity of Nigeria, any Muslim who respect and believe in Islam should also believe in the unity of Nigeria because Abraham obeyed God, and Ismail obeyed his father.
“In Nigeria, we disobey our leaders and constitution because we believe that there are some people who are untouchable or above the law, but everybody should obey the law, respect the leaders, and the leaders also respect their followers.
“If these ingredients are attached it will promote love, peace, tolerance, and forgiveness among ourselves. These are the ingredients of unity, and that is the significance of Eid-el-Kabir.
“We are to obey and believe in the constitution, and obeying our leaders is obeying the constitution, and that will help us to be patriotic.”
However, the WAAOF boss called on agitators and those who have carried arms against the government to drop their arms for dialogue.
“People who are perpetrating violence across this country should go back to their religious beliefs whether Christianity, Islam, or African traditional, the fundamental thing in every religion is love, peace, tolerance, and forgiveness.
“Whatever religion they belong to or belief they have, whether perpetrating violence brings peace, perpetrating violence will only cause injury to the world; it will increase violence, hatred, division, and division brings disunity.
“I call on them to come on a table to dialogue, and there are CSOs that can make their voice heard rather than picking arms against innocent citizens, and dialogue is the way forward by highlighting their demands.
“They can approach their local chairman, governor, or the president, and their issues will be looked into instead of carrying arms against the government and innocent Nigerians because picking arms and shedding blood have not solved any problem anywhere in the world or promote peace and unity in the country.
“Look at Martin Luther King Jnr, in his struggle in America he never took arms nor instigated blacks to use weapons against the white majority oppression, but decided to do a peaceful marching and sent his message to all Americans both black and white, Jews and Non-Jews and all American citizens to understand that all citizens have right and freedom to live as an American.
“He achieved his aim and today America is one, there is peace, love, and unity. If blacks never picked arms against the whites but today there is this unity, love, peace, therefore back here in Nigeria those who are picking arms should also reflect back to what happened in America, the blacks in America had tolerance and if they can use this method lending out their voice and telling the world their problem until is being fought peacefully, and it does not matter how long it will take to solve their problem.
“So they should not relent to approach their problem through peaceful means and let the leaders get the message, the ones coming tomorrow may solve it if the one now did not listen to them another one could do it, so let them lay down their arms and dialogue”, he stated.